Saturday 01 August 2009

IN SEARCH OF FAMILY GRAVES

Branch treasurer Kriek Fourie (left) made a presentation to our monthly meeting in July 2009 about his search for family graves in the Eastern Cape.

Kriek’s wife’s family live in Joubertina which is 43 km from Kareedouw and 57 km from Uniondale. Each year they visit this family and Kriek decided that he would like to photograph graves in the vicinity of the nearby Kouga Mountains.

This he did and the valuable photographic records of the graves in this mountainous terrain, were presented to our branch.

To give the members an idea of the steep mountain slopes, Kriek used Google Earth which clearly showed the mountains and winding dirt roads he travelled. He first went to Kransfontein, a farm which had been owned by the Kritzingers. Here he took photos of their graves.

From there he travelled to Morea, a mere 15 km away. It took an hour and a half to travel as the road was in a very poor condition. They drove over areas of the road which had been washed away, rock falls blocked the road, and through sandy river beds where the bakkie became stuck in the sand. The last farmer living there had died eight years ago, so the area was unoccupied. The graves of the Vosloos were here. Of the thirty graves, only two had headstones.

From there they descended via a very steep dirt road, this time driving through water, as it was the only way to cross the river. In the winter the farms in this area only receive three hours of sunlight daily and summers are hot and humid. The settlement of Krakiel , comprising thirty houses only has two lamp posts. Matthys Strydom and decedents lie buried there.

Louterwater was where the Meyers and Nortiers lived. -- Penny Evans, branch member.

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